Monday, April 30, 2012


Nude lip + nude shoe + cat eye + wavy hair + ladylike silhouettes = editorial inspiration for Monday. Enjoy!

Margaryta Senchylo by Andoni & Arantxa for Yo Dona, styled by Almudena Lopez Calafete via FGR.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


"The rhythm of the weekend, with its birth, its planned gaieties, and its announced end,
 followed the rhythm of life and was a substitute for it."  

- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Photo: Charlotte Rampling via Tumblr

Saturday, April 28, 2012


A few weeks ago, I confessed that while I am much more of a fashion girl than a beauty maven (Sephora is like a different planet to me... or like a Sports Chalet), there are 5 beauty products that I feel are life-changing. When you find the things that simplify your routine and make you feel refreshed, healthy, and beautiful, your life really can be changed in a small-- but profoundly significant-- way. It got me thinking, there are a few more things that I really appreciate having in my (minimal) beauty routine, so I thought I'd add 5 more products to the list of life-changers. What do you think-- have you found any products that have been life-changing for you?

1. Clarisonic Skin Cleansing Systyem

Exfoliating is one of the most satisfying beauty rituals ever. It's the equivalent of giving your kitchen a good scrub-down-- and if you're slightly OCD like me, you know how great that feels. The Clarisonic Cleansing System is the best at-home way to get that satisfying scrub-down for your face. The brush has three speeds to clean you face up to six times more effectively than with your hands alone, extracting blackheads and eradicating dead cells.You will not believe the difference in your skin's texture the first time you use it. For me, that first time was three years ago, and I still could not live without my Clarisonic.

2. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Advanced Therapy

Although this lip treatment is a little pricey for a lip balm (whatever happened to good old Lipsmackers?), for me it was absolutely worth it. I get very dry lips that are easily irritated by many products (sorry, Bonnie Bell), but this treatment soothes and repairs with natural ingredients like orange extract and plum seed oil. Plus, the added Hyaluronic Filling Sphere "plumps the lips and fills volume". I have no idea what that is, but it does what it says, and my lips feel poutier after using. Plus, it smells, well, fresh!

3. Dove Beauty Bar

I have used this no-frills, classic soap literally my entire life. My mom used it on me as a baby, and I have never given it up. Besides the familiar, clean, subtle smell, I love the way my skin feels after using it. You can even use it on your eyes to gently remove makeup before using cleanser. Other body washes and soaps can be harsh, drying, and too scented, but Dove is always simple and consistent. Plus, it has "one-quarter moisturizing cream"!

4. Moroccanoil Treatment
Moroccanoil is a super versatile argan oil that can be used as a styling product when hair is wet, a finishing product when hair is done, and just about everything else in between. It conditions and repairs with fatty acids, omega-3's, and antioxidants, and the smell is absolutely heavenly. I don't know how, but just a few drops of this luxurious oil will solve any problem causing lackluster locks, from fly-aways to dullness to dryness. I've also tried the brand's hairspray, shampoo, and conditioner, but you can't beat the original oil treatment. It's the only product you'll need.

5. Vitamins

Don't you hate when celebrities claim that the only thing they do to look that good is "eat healthy and take vitamins"? You want to tell them to cut the bs, but they do have a point-- all the Botox and Creme de la Mer in the world won't make you look good if you don't take care of your health (Lindsay Lohan, we're talking to you, girlfriend). I know I look exponentially less haggard when getting the right nutrients and taking vitamins: pores are smaller, skintone is more even, eyes are brighter. Taking advice from expert articles and considering my body's own needs, I try to take a multi-vitamin, calcium + Vitamin D, fish oil, folic acid, B12, a cranberry supplement, and a probiotic daily. Seven pills seems like a lot to swallow (haaa), and I don't always stay on course, but I really do notice a world of difference when doing the right thing for my body. And that is something that is truly life-changing.

Friday, April 27, 2012


Photo via our ladies at WhoWhatWear


Everyone loves Disneyland. There isn't a soul on earth that doesn't feel a little bit of magic when stepping through that gateway to your childhood. This month, Contributor Magazine features Bianca O'Brien frolicking through France's version of Fairy Tale Land, Adventure Land, and Tomorrow Land, shot by Magnus Magnusson. High fashion meets Disneyland Paris? Now that's the Happiest Place on Earth.

Photos: FGR

Love it!! Wish they would have done a shot at Pirates of the Caribbean (my fave, and not only because of Johnny Depp-- it was the best even before they remodeled). They should have recruited some of the princesses to model, too-- ever notice how every girl, even when grown, has the Disney princess that she thinks is "her"? (Ahem, Cinderella... or Belle). 

Speaking of Disney princesses, I'm still not over the hilarious Real Housewives of Disney from SNL. Watch it here and have a good Friday morning laugh. Happy (almost) Weekend!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


The title of this post sounds a little cheesy, but I think this article from Marc and Angel is an important one to read. In this life, everyone is trying to make it. Everyone, in their own way, is striving, hustling, and just burning with the desire to make their unique mark on the world. Here are 11 ways you can find your path, become the best version of yourself, and let your true beauty shine for the world to enjoy.

 You are powerful when you believe in yourself – when you know that you are capable of anything you put your mind to.  You are beautiful when your strength and determination shines as you follow your own path – when you aren’t disheveled by the obstacles along the way.  You are unstoppable when you let your mistakes educate you, as your confidence builds from experiences – when you know you can fall down, pick yourself up, and move forward.

1. Stop judging, and appreciate the beauty within you. – Judging yourself is not the same as being honest with yourself.  When it comes to living as a compassionate, non-judgmental human being, the only challenge greater than learning to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, is learning to walk a lifetime comfortably in your own.  In every smile there is beauty.  In every heart there is love.  In every mind there is wisdom.  In every human being there is a soul, there is life, there is worth, and there is the ability to see all these things in everyone, including one’s self.  Read The Mastery of Love.

2. Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you. – Accept yourself!  Insecurity is what’s ugly, not you.  Be you, just the way you are, in the beautiful way only you know how.  The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.  You must love who you are or no one else will either.  And when you are truly comfortable in your own skin, not everyone will like you, but you won’t care about it one bit.

3. Care less about who you are to others. – Don’t lose YOU in your search for acceptance by others.  Be aware that you will always appear to be a little less than some people prefer you to be, but that most people are unaware that you are so much more then what they see.  You are good enough just the way you are.  You have nothing to prove to anyone else.  Care less about who you are to others and more about who you are to yourself.

4. Know your worth. – We often accept the love we think we deserve.  It makes no sense to be second in someone’s life, when you know you’re good enough to be first in someone else’s.

5. Don’t rush intimate relationships. – Love is not about sex, going on fancy dates, or showing off.  It’s about being with a person who makes youhappy in a way nobody else can.  You don’t need a perfect one, you just need someone who you can trust – who shows you that you’re the only one.  If you haven’t found true love yet, don’t settle.  There is someone out there who will love you unconditionally, even if it’s not the person you were initially hoping for.

6. Let go of those who aren’t really there. – There are certain people who aren’t meant to fit into your life no matter how much you want them to.  And the only ones truly worthy of your love are the ones who stand with you through the hard times and laugh with you after the hard times pass.  Maybe a happy ending doesn’t include anyone else right now.  Maybe it’s just you, on your own, picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself for something better in the future.  Maybe the happy ending is simply letting go.

7. Forgive yourself and others. – Of all the things that can be stolen from you – your possessions, your youth, your health, your words, your rights – what no one can ever take from you is your freedom to choose what you will believe in, and who and what your heart will love going forward.  Life begins where your fear and resentment ends.  Just because someone hurt you yesterday, doesn’t mean you should hate the world, or start living life today in constant fear of being hurt tomorrow.  When you forgive yourself and others, and stop the inner imprisonment, you’re creating the love of your life.  Read The Tao of Pooh

8. Focus on the positive. – Do not let the pain make you hopeless.  Do not let the negativity wear off on you.  Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.  Even though others may disagree with you, take pride in the fact that you still know the world is a beautiful place.  Change your thoughts and you change your reality.  Our thoughts are the makers of our moods, the inventors of our dreams, and the creators of our will.  That is why we must sort through them carefully, and choose to respond only to those that will help us build the life we want, and the outlook we want to hold as we’re living it.

9. Believe in the person you are capable of being. – The real purpose of your life is to evolve and grow into the whole person you are capable of being.  Have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing.  Change really is always possible – there is no ability that can’t be developed with experience.  Don’t ever let your negative beliefs stand in the way of your own improvement.  Read A New Earth.

10. Work on goals you believe in. – Never put off or give up on a goal that’s important to you.  Not because you still have tomorrow to start or try again, but because you may not have tomorrow at all.  Life is shorter than it sometimes seems.  Follow your heart today.

11. Keep looking and moving straight forward. – Moving on doesn’t mean you have forgotten; it means you have accepted what happened in the past and choose to continue living in the present.  Moving on doesn’t mean you’re giving up; it means you’re giving yourself another chance by making a choice to be happy rather than hurt.  Through all the problems you have faced, the burdens weighing down on your shoulders, the pain in your heart, you have only one thing to say, “I survived and I now know better for next time.”

In the end, loving yourself is about enjoying your life, trusting your own feelings, taking chances, losing and finding happiness, cherishing the memories, and learning from the past.  Sometimes you have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting.  Have faith that things will work out, maybe not exactly how you planned, but just how it’s meant to be.

Photos: Sasha Pivovarova by Yelena Yumchek for AnOther #11 via FGR

Monday, April 23, 2012


"The American woman, I learned, could be funny, tough, intelligent, sophisticated, 
flirty, hilarious, practical... and downright dangerous."

Photo: Lily Aldridge by Claiborne Swanson Frank for her book, American Beauty

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012


Last Friday's Favorite is still on the homepage of ESS, which means I have not had time to post very much this week. Between work, dinner parties, birthday parties, and launch parties (is spring fever to blame?), the past few days have gotten away from me. I know many of you have been similarly crazy lately, which is why this Friday Favorite is perfect for pulling it all together at the end of the week. A small, elegant evening case will unburden you from the week's extra baggage by paring you down to the weekend essentials- phone, cards, lipstick- while adding instant polish to your look. This favorite is a stunning mirrored box with ebony crocodile trim from Gucci's Jazz Age-inspired Spring collection. With a gold Swarovski fringe tassel and emerald clasp, this statement piece is all you need to effortlessly sweep into your weekend plans with gusto and style.

Photo: Vogue

Gucci Garçon evening case, available here

Or maybe you sweep into sticker shock... but you know how I feel about just going with the fantasy. 

Friday Favorites usually serve as a way to simply appreciate the artistry of one beautiful object without crassly bringing up the fact that the feature is largely unaffordable. However, this week I happened to find 3 great alternate evening cases from Zara, House of Harlow 1960, and DVF, so Friday Favorite serves inspirational and practical purposes this time. Hope you enjoy! 

 Here are a few other bits discovered this week which also promote the idea of embracing fantasy and appreciating beauty:

Have a fantastic, beautiful weekend!

Monday, April 16, 2012


If you have visited ESS frequently and / or we are friends, you may know it is one of my goals in life to be a glamorous mother. It's that dichotomous instinct which craves excellence both in a career and in the home. I know, lofty goals-- I will let you know how that goes once I get married. But for now, let's enjoy this new editorial from Vogue Russia's May cover story, featuring  Maryna Linchuk as a glamorous mother, showing us how to make it all happen... and look fab doing it.

Photos: FGR

Side note: I realize this is an editorialized fantasy and not an accurate portrayal of the realities of motherhood. But as long as you can enjoy the fantasy responsibly, why not do so? Reality is overrated.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Being a little under the weather this weekend, I've taken to the couch with Pinterest. Is everyone still this addicted? It can't be helped... when I see beautiful things, I must pin!

Screen shot of my favorite board, Love.


Photos via Tumblr

Friday, April 13, 2012


For those of us not headed to the desert for Coachella, it's thunder and lightening this weekend in LA (alas, the beach weather was not destined to last). It's the perfect time to wrap Jenny Packham's petal-soft silk-chiffon bed jacket over your shoulders, sip a glass of wine, and listen to the thrashing storm outside. Is there anything more romantic?
Click here for more information... as with last Friday's Favorite, if you are going to order it, you are one lucky girl!

On the other hand, if you were super inspired by StyleStalker's fab look book earlier this week and aren't about to let a little rain get in the way of your party, here are 3 links to get your weekend started:

Not that I necessarily support meeting guys at bars, but if you do, high five, sister. Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


"I’m interested in the lives of women in general, which is why I love aprons. 
The apron is a recurring theme in my work because it is symbolic of women’s sufferance ... 
It’s an emblem of women’s despair, their poverty, their passions. 
I love drama and romance."

- Miuccia Prada via The Cut

I loved this quote from Miuccia Prada. It reminded me of a touching exhibit I saw on traditional Hungarian women's dress at the Museum of Ethnology in Budapest. The exhibit explained that through the twentieth century, the impoverished Hungarian economy was largely agricultural, and women were expected to labor in the fields from sunrise to sundown, even immediately after giving birth. It brings a new appreciation to the freedom and opportunity women are able to enjoy in our lives today. 

Photos from the Budapest Museum of Ethnology, taken in the days of my Blackberry... I wish they were better quality!

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